CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2020
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Learning A-Z, one of the leading companies in virtual learning, provides administrators and teachers with learning materials for pre-kindergarten to sixth grade students. Their digital curriculum is used in classrooms worldwide. They provide students with the resources and skills they need in the classroom and beyond.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Learning A-Z is meeting the demands for remote learning with their online resources. Students are learning even while away from school.

Our Vocab Slinger Word Definition Game is a web application game that teaches grade school students new vocabulary words and their definitions.

After a difficulty level is selected, the students are presented with three “enemies” who are trying to reach the top of the page. These enemies each have a definition attached to them. These definitions must be matched to the corresponding words from the word bank featured on the page. The complexity of these words and the inclusion of a timer depends on the selected difficulty.

Failing to match the proper word or allowing a set timer to reach zero causes the enemies to rise towards the top. Successful matching “defeats” the enemy, and it is replaced by a new enemy with a new definition at the bottom of the page. The used word is also replaced in the word bank.

The game ends when an enemy reaches the top of the page. The student is then awarded in-application currency corresponding to their performance.

Our software teaches new vocabulary to children in a fun and engaging way that is customized to that child’s ability.

The front end of our web application is made using AngularJS and HTML/CSS, the back end is written in PHP with Composer to manage dependencies. The PHP code sends requests to a MySQL database to get word-definition pairs.